Work as Sadhana

 

Two days back I resumed washing my clothes myself in spite of the sciatica. But there was a strong reaction on my body. I wonder why the body has become so weak.

It is better not to force the body at present.

If I don’t increase work now, when will the body be capable of more work?

When the inner force (strength) comes down and occupies the body also.

About the mind in relation to study, you said, “If it refuses, of course you can’t — unless you allow the Force to work through you.” How am I to bring the Force down?

I was not speaking of the Force coming down from above, but of the Force from behind doing action through the mind and body as instruments. Very often when the mind and body are inert, their actions still go on by this push from behind.

How am I to make the “Force from behind” act through the mind and the body? What are its conditions and how does this Force differ from “the Force coming down from above”?

The Force from above is the Force of the Higher Consciousness. That from behind works as a mental, vital or physical force according to need. When the being is open to it and there is a certain passivity to its working, it takes the place of the personal activity and the Person is a witness of its action.

You seem to have written to Dilip that there is a special Force for the work and, if it is brought down, its action need not remain a separate thing from meditation. What is this Force for work?

It is the Mother’s Force, naturally.

It is said that we should refer all our acts to the Mother. But I don’t know how to refer and get her answer before doing actions.

There is no question of getting an answer. It is simply to offer the actions to the Mother and call her Force to guide or do what is necessary.

To Dilip you said, “…this is the thing that used to happen daily to the physical workers in the Ashram. Working with immense energy and enthusiasm with a passion for the work. The sense of rest and the flood of energy came after a call to the Mother’s Force.” Which period of general sadhana were you referring to?

I was speaking of the time when the sadhana was in the vital and people had a great enthusiasm for work.

Have the Ashram people no such enthusiasm for work any more?

Enthusiasm belongs to the vital. Nowadays many complain of fatigue in the work, having too much work etc. They never did that in those days though they did more.

There are some sadhaks who still have the same enthusiasm for work, in spite of the sadhana being in the physical or subconscient. But how can that be so?

Some have, like Khirod and some others; but for them work is their field of sadhana and it is not by vital enthusiasm that they do it, but by the inner urge.

For the followers of Jnana Yoga, it is not easy to open to the Mother’s peace during work rather than during meditation.

This is not Jnana Yoga. Many have opened during work before they were able even to meditate.

Why do people often complain that they are not able to keep up the sadhana during work?

It is a question of doing work in the right attitude — as a means of sadhana. Most take the work as work only.

R told me that Rishabhachand can do sadhana as consciously and comfortably during work as during motionless meditation?

Those who can do that have either the Force for work acting in them naturally or a double consciousness, one of which meditates, the other attends to the work.

Did not the old Yogas always say that the approach to the Divine is more easy and direct through meditation than through work?

They wanted to get away from life, so necessarily work was unfavourable for them since work is part of life. Our Yoga is to find the Divine in life also.

It is sometimes easier to keep the right consciousness in the work than in the meditation.

In the meditation one has to keep out all sorts of things; in the work one has only to offer oneself and one’s work to the Mother and aspire.

The only difficulty of work is that one is apt to forget the Mother in the absorption of the work and so forget to offer. In the meditation one is apt to forget the Mother in all kinds of thoughts and lose the concentration.

If the body goes on working and the mind thinks of the Mother, that is a stage in the Karma Yoga. In meditation also the body may go on sitting while the mind thinks of things that have nothing to do with the meditation. In each case it is a difficulty that has to be overcome, — the mind being turned to the right direction.

Aspiration can be done while one is active for outer objects also — that is supposed to be part of this Yoga. Especially one must aspire for purification of the being and this can be best done and tested in action — purification from desire, ego, selfishness etc.

One can work and aspire and offer to the Divine; one can purify oneself of one’s imperfections by the aid of the Mother’s Force and one’s own sincere vigilance and one can do it in action and not only in meditation. It does not follow that only those who are meditating all the time are doing sadhana.

When a doctor asks a patient to stop his work, what happens to the help and purification that the patient was receiving through his work?

The purification etc. does not depend on the quantity of work done, but on the attitude and sincerity. Work is entirely stopped only when the patient needs complete rest. In that case he can still remember the Mother and offer himself to her and pray and aspire.

Certainly if there is the right attitude, the work done with it will have its effect. Nobody is asked to take on too much work or to do it in the wrong attitude. On the other hand sitting idle with the wrong attitude will not help either. If he does a lot of meditation with the wrong attitude that will not help him either. If the attitude is wrong the first business of the sadhak is to put it right. It was not doing too much work that put X in the wrong attitude. It is the defects of his nature that put him into the wrong attitude and I don’t see how that is to be cured by his sitting idle.

It is my general experience that the mind always comes in and occupies the working consciousness instead of allowing the Mother’s Force to act. When it is so, the Force is able to work only from behind. But it is only when the Force takes up the whole activity that a sadhak gains fully by the work.

That is not true. If the Force works from behind and one is conscious of it, then too one gains by the work.

How can the mind be stopped from interfering with the work?

Once the mental silence is attained, then in that the mental thoughts can be replaced by some vision and intuition regarding the work.

For the last three days my mind has been drawn within so much that no words, in speech or on paper, come out unless I make a strong effort.

The stress of the Power is all right, but there is really nothing incompatible between the inner silence and action. It is to this combination that the sadhana must move.

Dividing my mind in two — one part acting for the outer work and the other for the higher — seems to be impossible during the present turn of the sadhana.

It happens sometimes like that. One has to go on doing the outer work with the outermost mind and senses till the phase is over.

As soon as I begin any action my higher state is pulled down automatically. Where is the obstruction?

In action it is always more difficult because the consciousness goes out towards the work or else is at least not wholly held within — it is therefore difficult to remain in an inward state. There is no other obstacle. But if the inward state is strong and habitual, then it gains upon the action also and at first one always feels it behind and afterwards it occupies the whole consciousness, outer included, and the action takes place in it. This is for static states like peace, self-realisation etc. If one has the realisation of the dynamic Force, there is no difficulty — because that can take up the action at once.

However high my consciousness might be before work, there is a straight fall into inertia as soon as action starts! Is this condition never to change?

It is not necessary to fall into inertia, but one always comes into a less intensity of consciousness during work unless one has established in work the conscious contact with the Mother’s Force and is aware of that during the work or unless one has developed a double consciousness, the inner concentrated, the outer doing the work.

The physical work becomes burdensome only if I have to do several things, one after another, without an interval in which to rest and regain a state of concentration.

It is often like that in the first stages.

How many times the higher action has stopped just when it is becoming powerful, simply because I have to attend to the outer work! Can nothing be done to avert this?

You must learn to do action without an externalising push.

It is quite possible to feel like an empty vessel and yet do work. It is probably because you associate work with your own personal action and initiation that you have the difficulty.

In what way do I associate work with my personal action and initiation?

As everybody does.

I can’t enter into an exposition of how human beings associate work when they do it with their own personal action and initiation. It is a mistake to think that you do it in a different way from others, if that is what you mean.

Does personal initiation mean to mix up our own individual work with the Mother’s work, which brings desire, ego and other lower elements into the work?

Personal initiation does not mean that — it means oneself being the worker and doing the work for oneself — instead of feeling the work as the Mother’s — done by the Mother’s Force for the sake of the Divine Purpose.

Personal action is the result of the personal initiation, for that makes the action personal.

In inaction, sometimes my consciousness becomes completely blank and forgetful of the mind, life and body. But then there is hardly any deeper or higher experience during the action.

That can come afterwards. The first step is to get silence.

For many days now, I have felt void for the whole day, especially during work. My entire nature is like an immobile statue. The mind, vital and body are emptied of energy, as though they shifted somewhere else.

What you describe is not at all a drawing away of life-energy; it is simply the effect of voidness and stillness caused in the lower parts by the consciousness being located above. It is quite consistent with action, only one must get accustomed to the idea of the possibility of action under these conditions. In a greater state of emptiness I carried on a daily newspaper and made a dozen speeches in the course of three or four days — but I did not manage that in any way, it happened. The Force made the body do the work without any inner activity.

Work is an active movement. If there is no dynamic force in the being — as is the case with my present state of emptiness — the lower parts will take advantage and turn the work to their own ends.

Not necessary at all. It is perfectly possible to work in an entire emptiness without any interference or activity of the lower parts of the consciousness.

Why then am I unable to do work in emptiness without any interference?

It is quite impossible for me to answer all your whys and hows. I have told you again and again that these things depend upon the general state of the consciousness and are things that cannot be expressed or analysed by the mind. It is only by becoming more and more conscious that you can begin to observe for yourself how things work out and have an intuitive perception of them and develop automatically the right movements.

I spoke of developing intuitive capacity in connection with knowledge, with understanding of what goes on in oneself. The working consciousness is another matter. When intuition comes, it will no doubt be helpful for the work, but the main thing to be achieved there is to feel the Mother’s Force doing the work. For that to come it is necessary to be separate from the work — that separateness must increase and fix itself.

I can separate myself from work and feel myself as a supervisor. But this separation is very passive, empty and fragile because of the static peace and lack of Force of the inner being. It does not help me to do any active or conscious sadhana while I work.

There has to be a beginning to everything. The first step is to detach oneself from the work and be the witness. If the detachment is fragile, it has to be strengthened and deepened. It is naturally empty at first — if it were not, it could not effect itself, for it would fill with the ego of the worker. It must be passive till it is filled with the higher force and knowledge.

I have said that it would not effect itself, that is, it would not establish itself as detachment at all. Becoming full of the ego of the worker, it would be simply the Ego standing behind the work and directing it or else full of the pride of the instrument.

During mental and physical work it is only the Purusha that at times keeps detachment, but not the Prakriti.

If the Purusha can keep detachment all the time, then it will be easier to liberate the Prakriti in the same way.

At times it becomes possible to a certain extent to keep the inner poise during work. It is something like standing above and letting the psychic do the work.

It is not the psychic that does the work, it is the Force that does it taking up the direction.

At that time, during work, something from the depths of the heart surged out and it seemed to be in contact with the work. That is why I thought it came from the psychic.

The psychic may well be in contact with the work supporting it, but that is different from doing it.

What is meant by “taking up the direction”?

Directing the work instead of the directing consciousness doing it.

Today, during the work, I noticed that the inner being remained separate and in peace.

That at any rate is very good and signifies a great progress.

Since 10 today, some parts of my being seem never to have left the higher consciousness, whether during action or inaction, during quiescence or outer restlessness. Along with this stationing above, there was a constant flow of Mother’s Peace and Silence and a sense of living amid a dynamic Power. What was missing was the bringing down of that Power right into the action itself.

If that could be made permanent (some parts never leaving the higher consciousness), it would make the bringing of the Power in action easier.

Today, though I happened to work much more than usual, there was much less fatigue. I presume it was due to shama [quiet, peace].

Yes. With the right consciousness always there, there would be no fatigue.

After working at Dilip Kumar’s place for an hour, my body felt tired. Then I went to Jasavanta’s house for fly-toxing. There I not only did the work assigned to me but even dusted and arranged his jumbled-up things. I felt as though it was a room of the Mother’s which needed cleaning. While working I did not feel any fatigue, but when I came out of his house all the ordinary reactions showed themselves — fatigue, sciatica pains, doubts etc.

When doing this work you had the Force in you and the right consciousness filling the vital and physical — afterwards with relaxation the ordinary physical consciousness came up and brought back the ordinary reactions — fatigue, sciatica etc.

Along with the above reactions came a host of suggestions: that it was the ego’s secret action which moved me to do things which were hardly connected with my fly-toxing work, and that it was the superficial notion of “Mother’s room” that moved me to do his personal work, etc.

These are the wrong suggestions from the physical mind — work done with the thought of the Mother and not for oneself cannot be egoistic. How was the idea of the “Mother’s room” superficial? It was on the contrary a suggestion that could only come to one from the deeper consciousness, for the ordinary mind does not think like that. The idea of Jasavanta’s room, Jasavanta’s personal work was rather the ordinary superficial notion.

I think that it was the inner being alone which acted during the work in Jasavanta’s room; the outer being simply became its tool?

That is correct.

You wrote, “When doing this work you had the Force in you.” But how is it that as soon as that particular action was over I lost the Force and fatigue and sciatica came back?

The Force in these instances comes for the work; when the work is over, it usually withdraws — unless and until you have become able to keep it.

Why does the Force not come for other actions also?

I suppose because you do not bring it down for other actions, or your condition and feeling about them is not the same.

Am I then doing only fly-toxing and painting for the Mother and the other things for myself?

Do you mean to say that in all your actions you are selfless, thinking only of the Mother, doing everything only for the Mother? If so, you are the greatest Yogi in this Ashram.

You were joking, I believe, when you wrote about “the greatest Yogi in the Ashram.” I know that I am far from being a Yogi. At most, I might be a sadhak when I am in the right consciousness.

Yes, naturally, but I said that because you wrote as if you were perfectly self-offered in all your actions with an indignant query why, that being so, the Force came down only for fly-toxing and painting — did it then regard all your other self-offered works as nonsense?

As for my bringing down the Mother’s Force into certain actions and not into others, I don’t think that I tried to bring it consciously only into the fly-toxing and painting work.

It is not a question of trying or of mental intention, it was a psychic state of the consciousness that brought it down.

The condition you described as there when the Force came down in your work was that of the true instrument, not merely thought but felt — so it opened a way for the Force to come. Quietness is not necessarily sufficient for the Force to come down. A certain state of psychic self-giving is the best condition.

It is the Mother’s Force that has to work through the sadhak, not the sadhak who has to work through the Mother’s Force.

The first stage is when one works with the outer energy, but there is an inner consciousness supporting it which relies wholly on the Mother. The second is when there is an inner consciousness and force which uses the outer instruments — the outer energy being quiescent or else a part only of the inner — while this inner consciousness knows that the force is the Mother’s or feels the Mother’s presence in it: there are different experiences in this respect. The third is when all is the Mother’s Force working.

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